Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has expressed readiness to appear before the Senate to defend the commission’s activities.
Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Kayode Idowu, Prof. Jega added that he is not forseeing any face off with the lawmakers.
Idowu said: “If the Senate invites INEC chairman, he will certainly go. He is ready to provide whatever information they might require or request from him and he will certainly provide them during the meeting. I am not foreseeing any challenge in the invitation.
“I don’t think there is going to be any issue of personal inclination or attack on the chairman by the distinguished members of the Senate. I want to emphasize that the commission is ready to provide any information, members of the Senate might require from us,” he noted.
On the collection of permanent voters cards (PVCs), Jega’s spokesman said: “PVCs collection is ongoing and as at today, the distribution has hit 52.233 million, about 75.88 per cent. Incidentally, based on the statistical analysis, there has not been much significant difference in the rate of collection since the postponement of the elections.”
Dismissing the apprehension over the reconfiguration of the already deployed card readers, Idowu said: “We have made it very clear that all the card readers have been received and deployed. I don’t really know the basis for the apprehension that INEC has recalled the card readers to reconfigure them. It must have come from a less than honest practice of journalism.
“The card readers were configured for February 14 and 28, but since those dates have changed, there has to be a reconfiguration of the machines for the new dates. INEC does not need to withdraw those card readers to reconfigure the dates since our staff that configured them in the first place would simply go out to update them.
“Let me emphasize that there was no withdrawal of any sort because we don’t need to return them to the factories where they were manufactured to reconfigure them since the configuration was done by the INEC. It is a minor update,” he noted.
Presently, five northern states, comprising Nasarawa, Jigawa, Gombe, Kaduna and Katsina, currently top the list of the states with highest number of collected PVCs.
According to last PVCs colection statistics released by the headquarters of the electoral body, while Gombe, Jigawa and Katsina trailed Nasarawa with 95, 93 and 92 per cent collections respectively, Kaduna joined the list with 91 per cent collection rate.
INEC said out of the 68,833,476 registered voters; a total number of 52,233,396, about 75.88 per cent had collected their PVCs, leaving a total number of 16.6 million registered voters without PVCs.